JW Marriott Chicago

Grand staircase at the lobby
Spacious lobby

The JW Marriott Chicago, is an indisputably opulent outpost in Chicago. The hotel, housed in a solid and stately 1914 neo-Classical structure designed by Daniel H. Burnham, formerly the Continental & Commercial National Bank. The sweeping staircases that lead to second-floor ballrooms and the Florentine, an Italian restaurant, act as bookends to a giant that is all marble and warm colors.

Situated at the bottom of the Loop, the JW stands solidly at the heart of Chicago’s financial district, a block from the Board of Trade. This is not tourist central, and though Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago are nearby, you’ll need to trek about a mile to reach the southern tip of the Magnificent Mile and more than two and a half miles to reach the Lincoln Park area where Grant Achatz’s restaurant Alinea and other hot destinations are located.

My Room - King bed, Guest Room
Huge bathroom

Our room was spacious with dark wood furnishings placed against eggshell walls that picked up the marble shades of the uncarpeted sections of the floor. The king-size bed was comfy with soft sheets and loaded with enough big pillows to build a pillow fort. The 42-inch flat- screen television was smartly pre-programmed to log on your Netflix, Hulu, HBO and other online video on demand subscription accounts.

The bathroom was spacious and elegant with a marble-tile floor, a deep soaking tub and a sizable stand-alone shower stall. A sliding wooden door separated the toilet, and a huge, lighted mirror over the two separate sinks was convenient even if the lighting.

Service was efficient and friendly, starting with our arrival. Check-in is at 3 p.m., but my friend and I showed up around 11:00 AM without requesting an early check-in. Still, we were in our room in minutes. Wi-Fi, though free in the hotel lobby, was $14.95 a day in the room or if you are a Marriott Rewards member.

I have heard there is a pool in this hotel but I didn’t have time to enjoy it. Same for the gym (my schedule was crammed with sightseeing and eating appointments).

Welcoming snacks and note

The other great touch from the hotel was the large, beautiful tray of snacks and a warm welcoming note. The little bite sized snacks were surprisingly tasty and we’ve enjoyed them the next morning.

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JW Marriott Chicago

Official Website
151 West Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60603


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.